paris fashion week|viktor & rolf rtw fall 2011

If, as the week’s events have indicated, fashion is a minefield these days, consider Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren on the offensive, at least thematically. For fall they “wanted to create an army that battles for beauty,” said Snoeren, during a preview. “To show our passion for fashion,” added Horsting. “We are ready for the battle.” They sure went commando on the concept. Their ammunition: ultrastiff tailoring. They sent out a legion of red-faced warriors in long coats done in bonded, felted wool that was crimped into bladelike pleats around collars and shoulders like giant scales or pinwheels. It was a dramatic rigid statement softened slightly by a few ruffled and draped silk dresses, as well as two rose-printed sweaters worn with pleated skirts. To ensure the utmost graphic effect, everything was done in a strict palette of black, red and ivory with an occasional flash of silver. Horsting and Snoeren said the idea was a modern take on medieval armor, but there was a chink in the repetition of it all. Many looks appeared first in black with a carbon copy in white. As for the beauty that Horsting and Snoeren were theoretically fighting for, this wasn’t an obviously pretty collection, but it was one of the stronger efforts from them in a while.

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paris fashion week|viktor & rolf rtw fall 2011